Review: Jet & The Spazzys at the Melbourne Zoo Twilights, March 3 2018

Back in 2012, Jet shocked the music world by announcing they were calling it quits. After a few years away, they decided to reform in 2016, much to everyone’s collective delight. Now, following numerous reunion shows, a Bruce Springsteen support slot, and frontman Nic Cester embarking on a solo career, the group are back again, showing the world of Aussie music why they were so missed.

As an eager crowd piled into the Melbourne Zoo on a cool, breezy evening, it was clear that the coming show was not going to be just any old rock show. Rather, the excess of Aussie band shirts, ripped jeans, and long hair indicated that we were in for a celebration of some classic Aussie rock, the likes of which hadn’t been seen in quite some time.

Before long, hometown punk favourites The Spazzys took the stage for a long-overdue show that left music fans wondering why the group hadn’t been performing Aussie shows for quite some time. Throughout the course of a 40-minute set, the group pumped out a dozen tunes full of speed and ferocity, including ‘Hey Hey Baby’, ‘I Want A Divorce’, and ‘My Car Doesn’t Brake’.

Switching between the vocals of Kat and Ally Spazzy, the trio showcased their balls-to-the-wall style of Ramones-inspired punk rock, with clear influences from the ‘60s vocal groups they’ve been known to cover from time to time.

While the group didn’t play some of their biggest, most crowd-pleasing hits, much to the dismay of the sadly unenthusiastic crowd, they received well-deserved applause for their set, reminding fans why they’re one of the finest punk groups to come out of Melbourne in a long time.

Play

Following a short intermission (which featured a P.A. playing Wings’ ‘Jet’), the group that everyone came to see took to the stage. Decked out in full rock and roll garb, complete with the swagger of a band who had earned the reputation that proceeded them, Jet cut a formidable presence on the stage. However, it almost immediately became clear that they weren’t here to just continue their reunion, rather, they were here to pick up exactly where they left off.

From the opening bars of ‘Get What You Need’, the group had fans jumping in the middle of the impromptu mosh pit that had formed, as memories of the garage-rock explosion of the early ’00s came flooding back. Before long, both the band and the crowd clearly were in their element, belting out every word to gems like ‘She’s A Genius’, ‘Rollover DJ’, and ‘Black Hearts On Fire’.

“This is a very special moment for us, this is the first headline show we’ve done in our hometown of Melbourne,” Nic Cester revealed to the crowd, referencing their lack of headline shows since 2016. “Where it all began.”

Clearly, this truly was a big moment for the group, and they continued to show their appreciation to their dedicated fans, delivering stunning versions of close to every single they ever released, turning this headline show into a set of the greatest hits ever penned by the group.

As huge singalongs sprung up with tracks such as ‘Look What You’ve Done’ and ‘Seventeen’, Nic and Chris Cester continued to trade off vocals, showing their versatility and talent to the eager crowd. Before long though, the group dipped into their biggest hit, ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl?’, showing off not only the greatest use of tambourine in Australian rock, but also making it clear why Nic Cester has long been considered one of the greatest frontmen in Aussie rock.

Play

Sadly, despite the high-energy from Jet, this enthusiasm wasn’t equalled by crowd at times, who seemed to respond with indifference to some of the band’s lesser-known hits. As the night went on, more and more punters were seen heading for the exits, and it was sad to realise that they were missing out on one of Australia’s finest rock acts doing what they do best.

Despite this, Jet powered on, eventually waving goodbye following a stellar performance of ‘Rip It Up’. Before too long, Nic Cester returned to the stage for a rather emotional version of ‘Shine On’, which had almost everyone in attendance swaying in unison at the tender anthem.

Soon, the rest of the group took to the stage again to deliver classics such as ‘Move On’, ‘Last Chance’, and ‘Cold Hard Bitch’, closing out the brilliant set with classic rockstar antics, which consisted of huge riffs, dirty basslines, and of course, Chris Cester’s drumkit being kicked over.

If anything, tonight’s performance indicated just how beloved these fine Melbourne groups are by the hometown crowd. Whether the fans in attendance tonight had caught both The Spazzys and Jet performing intimate club shows in their heyday, or they were witnessing their brilliance for the first time tonight, it was clear that everyone was going home with a story to tell about one of the best rock shows they had seen in years.

Check out Jet’s ‘Cold Hard Bitch’:

Play

Jet Setlist @ Zoo Twilights 4/3/18

‘Get What You Need’
‘She’s A Genius’
‘Rollover DJ’
‘Black Hearts (On Fire)’
‘Lazy Gun’
‘Skin And Bones’
‘Shiny Magazine’
‘Seventeen’
‘Walk’
‘Look What You’ve Done’
‘Kings Horses’
‘Come Around Again’
‘Bring It On Back’
‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl?’
‘Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is’
‘Take It Or Leave It’
‘Get Me Outta Here’
‘Rip It Up’

Encore:

‘Shine On’
‘Move On’
‘Last Chance’
‘Cold Hard Bitch’